COVID19: March deaths rise to 63, fewer cases

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An 84 year old woman died of coronavirus in Cyprus on Wednesday, raising the monthly death toll to 63, with new daily cases dropping below the 5,000 level to 4,774, down from Monday’s record 6,494, while hospitalisations remained unchanged at 182.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that critical cases increased to 25, while the total number of Covid-19 victims increased to 933, a quarter of whom in the first three months of this year.

January was the deadliest month on record with 101, followed by 91 in February, overtaking the previous record of 81 last August.

Intubated patients rose to five, while 55% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

A further 15 patients are still considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 rose to 426,377.

A total of 83,389 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 12,000 less than the day before, with tests in schools dropping in half to 19,300 as no tests were conducted in primary schools.

Of the 10,789 tests in high schools, 81 were positive, with 83 new infections identified from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers, which also includes kindergartens.

With a decrease in the number of tests, and a smaller drop in new cases from 5,089 to 4,774, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ also rose from 5.34% to 5.72%, down from Saturday’s 6.27% and Friday’s record 7.27%, and five times above the safe marker of 1%.

Of the new infections, 184 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

There were 67 new infections in care homes from 1,308 tests, and ten positive cases among 2,582 tests in restricted institutions.